SodaStream Puts Government on Notice

YERUSHALAYIM -

SodaStream, a manufacturer of home soda makers, put the Israeli government on notice Wednesday that if taxes go up it may move production facilities elsewhere.

“We’ve received orders beyond our expectations, which has put pressure on our production capacity. We’re now expanding production even before we open our Negev plant,” SodaStream International CEO Daniel Birnbaum told Globes.

The company has just announced expansion of its Alon Tavor plant in the Galil to meet growing demand, but he warned that its plans are contingent on a favorable economic climate.

“If our grants are cancelled, and if the companies tax is raised, we may shift and move production to another continent. We must have credible and stable politics here to create a good business environment. I must ultimately answer to our investors on Nasdaq. If the government makes a promise, the government must keep it. If there are u-turns, I’ll u-turn to another continent,” said Birnbaum.

SodaStream has eight plants in Israel, 10 abroad, and markets its product in 45 countries.

“The products we manufacture at the Alon Tavor plant are sold in countries such as Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, and France, even though we have another plant at Mishor Adumim, because of the sensitivity in these countries to Israeli products manufactured beyond the Green Line,” said Birnbaum.

The prospects for tens of millions of shekels in grants for the company’s investments in the Negev will be on the agenda at a meeting in a few weeks with Minister of the Economy Naftali.

“I understand that there is a new government and officials who want take up their posts. I just hope that my meeting with Bennett will be held before the company’s tax is raised.”